Angry Anderson

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Angry Anderson
Rose Tattoo - Angry Anderson.jpg
Angry Anderson fronting Rose Tattoo, Meredith Music Festival, December 2006
Background information
Birth name Gary Stephen Anderson
Also known as Angry Anderson
Born (1947-08-05) 5 August 1947 (age 67)
Melbourne, Victoria
Origin Melbourne, Victoria
Genres Hard rock, blues rock, rock and roll
Occupations Singer-songwriter, actor, reporter, television personality, youth advocate
Instruments Vocals
Years active 1971–present
Labels Mushroom Records/Festival Records
Associated acts Peace Power and Purity, Buster Brown, Rose Tattoo, The Party Boys
Website www.angryanderson.com

Gary Stephen "Angry" Anderson AM (born 5 August 1947) is an Australian rock singer-songwriter, television presenter-reporter, actor, and political activist. He has been the lead vocalist with the hard rock band Rose Tattoo since 1976 but is also recognised for his acting roles and charity work. Rose Tattoo's most popular single on the Australian Kent Music Report Singles Chart was "Bad Boy for Love" from 1977, which peaked at No. 19. In 1987, his uncharacteristic ballad, "Suddenly", reached number two in Australia after it was used as a wedding theme for an episode of the popular TV soap opera, Neighbours. In November 1988 it peaked at number three on the UK Singles Chart after the episode was aired there. On Australia Day (26 January) 1993, Anderson was made a Member of the Order of Australia for his role as a youth advocate. According to rock music historian, Ian McFarlane, "over the course of a lengthy career, [the] gravel-throated vocalist ... has gone from attention-grabbing, rock'n'roll bad boy to all-round Australian media star." On 16 August 2006, Rose Tattoo were inducted into the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) Hall of Fame. In 2011, Anderson was a vocal opponent of carbon tax legislation proposed by the federal government led by the Australian Labor Party and announced that he had joined the National Party. In 2012, Anderson appeared in the SBS doco-reality show Go Back To Where You Came From.

Biography[edit]

Gary Stephen Anderson[1] was born on 5 August 1947[2] in Melbourne, Victoria, to an Australian father and Mauritian mother. Gary has a brother living in Melbourne by the name of Rodney. Anderson's nickname of "Angry Ant" developed "during his youth after his aggressive and volatile nature got the better of him."[3] According to Anderson, his father "was a deeply troubled man... I've dealt with my rage, my pain... I was a very angry boy... When he was around he was a very explosive person."[4] Anderson used his uncle, Ivan, as his role model, he "was a cigarette-smoking, beer-drinking, leather jacket-wearing, motorcycle-riding drummer in a swing band."[4] Anderson grew up in suburban Coburg and attended Coburg Technical School before working as a fitter and turner in a factory.[5] Initially he wanted to be a blues guitarist, "I wanted to be like all the great blues guitar players, then I wanted to be like Bob Dylan, then of course... John Lennon."[5] Anderson found himself in a band with three possible guitarists and "[t]he other two were much better than me, so the only other thing we needed was a singer... [we] had to sing 'Twist and Shout' without accompaniment. I just happened to be the best one at it."[5]

From 1971 to 1973, Anderson led rock group Peace Power and Purity and came to wider public notice as the lead vocalist with Buster Brown.[3][6] He fronted the hard rock and blues rock band from its foundation in 1973, the original line-up included Phil Rudd on drums, who left in 1974 to join AC/DC.[6] In 1975, Buster Brown released an album, Something to Say, on Mushroom Records/Festival Records before disbanding in November that year.[6]

In 1976 in Sydney, Rose Tattoo was formed by Peter Wells of the heavy metal band Buffalo.[7] Anderson had relocated to Sydney and replaced the group's original singer Tony Lake. When their drummer Michael Vandersluys departed soon afterwards, he was replaced by Dallas Royall, who had been Rudd's replacement in Buster Brown.[7] Their most popular single on the Australian Kent Music Report Singles Chart was "Bad Boy for Love" from 1977, which peaked at No. 19.[8] Rose Tattoo's 1981 tour of Europe included an appearance at the Reading Festival, where Anderson repeatedly head butted the amp stacks until his scalp started bleeding.[9]

Anderson's debut as an actor was a minor role in Bullamakanka (1984).[3] In 1985 he appeared as the character Ironbar Bassey in the film Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome.[3] Later that year Anderson joined as a guest vocalist with The Incredible Penguins, for a cover of "Happy Xmas (War Is Over)", a charity project for research on Little Penguins, which peaked at No. 10 in December.[8][10]

Anderson led Rose Tattoo through six studio albums until disbanding the group in 1987, by which time he was the only member remaining from the early line-up.[7] During 1986, as Rose Tattoo was winding down following the recording of Beats from a Single Drum, Anderson joined The Party Boys for an Australian tour, but never recorded with them. By this time Anderson had established himself as an advocate on social issues and made regular appearances on the Channel Nine programs The Midday Show with Ray Martin and then A Current Affair as a human interest reporter.[3]

In 1987, Anderson had his biggest hit, when the uncharacteristic ballad "Suddenly" from the album, Beats from a Single Drum, was used as the wedding theme for the Neighbours episode in which the popular characters Scott Robinson and Charlene Mitchell married.[3] Mitchell's character was portrayed by pop singer, Kylie Minogue, who had issued her debut single in July as a cover version of "Locomotion."[3] "Locomotion" was at number one on the Australian charts preventing "Suddenly" from reaching the top spot.[8] Beats from a Single Drum had been planned as Anderson's debut solo release, but had initially been billed as a Rose Tattoo album due to contractual obligations; however, after the success of "Suddenly", it was re-released in 1988 as an Angry Anderson solo album. In November 1988, the single reached number three on the UK Singles Chart after the episode aired there.[11] In 2009, in homage to this moment, the song was featured in the final episode of BBC3's comedy Gavin and Stacey, during the wedding of characters Nessa and Dave.

Anderson in Wagga, New South Wales, January 1993.

With the dissolution of Rose Tattoo, Anderson pressed on with his solo career, releasing the album Blood from Stone in 1990 which provided the No. 11 hit single "Bound for Glory."[12] He performed the song during the pre-match entertainment at the 1991 AFL Grand Final between Hawthorn and West Coast, appearing on top of a Batmobile.[13] According to The Punch's Michael Phelan, Anderson's performance was "a teeth-gnashing, eyeballs-bleeding, nails-scratching-down-a-blackboard rendition" and rates it as the worst pre-game display in Australian sporting history.[13] In 1992, Anderson acted in the Australian arena-style revival of Jesus Christ Superstar as Herod. On Australia Day (26 January) 1993, Anderson was made a Member of the Order of Australia with the citation, "In recognition of service to the community, particularly as a youth advocate."[14] Also that year, Rose Tattoo reunited to support Guns N' Roses on the Australian leg of their Use Your Illusion Tour. However the reunion was short-lived and the band's members returned to their solo projects.

From 1994, Anderson has used his contacts in the media to organise a Challenge where a particular charity's project was completed with support of community and business groups. Examples of these Challenges include constructing a playground for handicapped children within 48 hours, assisting drought affected farmers with reserve feed for their stock, organising Christmas presents for socially and economically disadvantaged children and delivering artificial limbs for Cambodian land mine victims.[5]

Rose Tattoo reconvened in 1998 and undertook an Australian tour.[7] The group has continued to perform despite five Rose Tattoo former band members dying of cancer: Dallas Royall (1991),[15][16] Peter Wells (2006),[17] Ian Rilen (2006),[18] Lobby Lloyde (2007),[19] and Mick Cocks (2009).[20] According to rock music historian, Ian McFarlane, "over the course of a lengthy career, [the] gravel-throated vocalist ... has gone from attention-grabbing, rock'n'roll bad boy to all-round Australian media star."[3] On 16 August 2006, Rose Tattoo were inducted into the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) Hall of Fame.[21]

In the early years of the 2000s, Anderson participated in and organised a string of charity events. In 2002, Anderson played with former members of The Angels at the Bali Relief concert in Perth, Western Australia, held in aid of victims of the Bali bombing. Anderson is involved in the Dunn Lewis Youth Development Foundation, which is a lasting legacy of two of the 88 Australian lives lost in the bombings. In 2003, Anderson appeared in a cameo role as the character Kris Quaid in the independent Australian feature film Finding Joy. At the end of the film, he sings his hit "Suddenly."[22]

Left to right: Hamish Rosser, Anderson, Matt Sorum, Sarah McLeod, DJ Lethal at opening of Darling Harbour's Hard Rock Cafe in December 2011.

In 2011, Anderson appeared in a guest role in the Australian movie Suite for Fleur, as Silas, Fleur's father, a carpenter and furniture maker living in Byron Bay. In December, Anderson joined Doc Neeson, Mark Gable, Buzz Bidstrup, Phil Emmanuel and Matt Sorum (drummer for Velvet Revolver) on-stage to celebrate the opening of a Hard Rock Cafe in Darling Harbour.[23] In January 2012 Anderson announced that Rose Tattoo would disband – he is a member of the National Party and is considering using his birth name, Gary, for "political expediency" when running as a candidate in the next federal election.[24]

Political views[edit]

In July 2007, Anderson was criticised by some after espousing his views on Muslim immigration to Australia when he told The Daily Telegraph:[25][26]

It's not ill-conceived to look at certain people and question when they come out here what they bring with them ... We have strict quarantine laws and it should be the same when it comes to cultures that do not want to integrate. We should be very careful about where certain Muslims come from and what they believe. If you come here, you should behave yourself – it's as simple as that... If people come and live in any country and their way of life is so different they need their own special laws, then possibly they have to pick somewhere else to live. The idea of any Muslim being photographed for a passport or a license with one of those shrouds on – sorry, it just can't happen.

On 1 March 2010, he told a Federal Parliamentary Committee into the impact of violence on youth that life experience has taught him "Aussies use their fists" when they fight and that "weapons were introduced by other cultures."[27] In March 2011, Anderson declared he was a supporter of conservative politician Tony Abbott and his views against a tax carbon dioxide on emissions.[28][29] He announced in October that year that he was joining the conservative National Party, and was interested in standing for a seat in the next Australian federal election.[30] When asked whether some of his 'leftie views' might be gagged he replied, "maintaining some sort of order and balance is about agreement, compromise, setting rules as the head of the house. I've learnt to be a part of the family. So I'm not going to say things in public that are going to embarrass the party."[31] He was preselected as the National candidate for the Division of Throsby in New South Wales under his birth name, Gary Anderson. Although he didn't win, his preferences helped the Coalition net a four-percent swing in the seat.[32]

In 2012, Anderson participated in the SBS doco-reality show Go Back To Where You Came From, in which six Australians, each with differing opinions on Australia's asylum seeker debate, were taken on a journey to which refugees have taken to reach Australia. At the outset of the series Anderson says that "boat people" who arrive in Australia illegally should be sent back to their countries of origin: "If you come here illegally, I don't care about your story, first thing you do is you turn around and go back." Later in the series, after having met with refugees from Afghanistan who settled in Melbourne as well as visiting war-torn Kabul, Anderson softened his stand on the subject: "Now I've been here and spoken to people, I don't want to turn away refugees, I don't want to turn away people who need to be reunited with their families. I don't want that. Who would want that? I don't want people to go on suffering needlessly, when we can give them somewhere safe to be. But I don't want them to come to Australia in boats."[33]

Personal life[edit]

In Angry Anderson's 1994 biography, Angry – Scared for Life, the author Karen Dewey describes his life as "Sexually, physically and mentally abused he broke the brutal family pattern to become a besotted, devoted father of four."[34] Anderson described how "[t]here was physical and emotional violence in the family" and a family friend began sexually abusing him from the age of five.[31]

In 1982, prior to one of Rose Tattoo's European tours, Anderson met Lindy Michael.[5] The couple's daughter, Roxanne was born in 1983.[5] Anderson married Michael in January 1986, the couple also have three sons, Galen, Blaine and Liam.[5][31] By 2002, Anderson and Michael were divorced.[5][31] Anderson is a single father of four, and lives in the Sydney suburb of Beacon Hill.[24] Although he does not believe in an omniscient god he attends the Baha'i temple regularly, "the spirituality I have given myself over to is the divine."[31][35]

Having seen cancer claim the lives of five of his Rose Tattoo bandmates (Dallas Royall, Peter Wells, Ian Rilen, Lobby Lloyde and Mick Cocks), Anderson has become an advocate for men's health. He appeared in a TV campaign promoting awareness of prostate cancer.

Discography[edit]

Rose Tattoo[edit]

Buster Brown[edit]

Solo Albums[edit]

Year Album Chart Positions
AU NZ
1988 Beats From a Single Drum 8 18
1990 Blood For Stone 9 26

Solo Singles[edit]

Year Single Chart Positions
AU UK US NZ DE
1989 "Suddenly" 2 3[36] 35 11 42
1990 "Bound For Glory" 11 - 58 15 85

Filmography[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • Dewey, Karen (1994). Angry – Scared for Life. Chippendale, NSW: Pan Macmillan Australia. ISBN 0-330-27372-8. 
  • Murray Engleheart. Blood, Sweat & Beers- Oz Rock from the Aztecs to Rose Tattoo . Published by Harper Collins Australia. 2010. (ISBN 978 0 7322 8935 5)
  • Edward DuykerOf the Star and the Key: Mauritius, Mauritians and Australia, Australian Mauritian Research Group, Sylvania, 1988, p. 107.

References[edit]

General
Specific
  1. ^ "The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP)". ASCAP. Retrieved 22 May 2010. [dead link]
  2. ^ "Angry Anderson". Music Australia. National Library of Australia. 3 April 2007. Retrieved 16 March 2012. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h McFarlane, 'Angry Anderson' entry at the Wayback Machine (archived August 3, 2004). Archived from the original[dead link] on 3 August 2004. Retrieved 16 March 2012.
  4. ^ a b Fidler, Richard (23 January 2007). "Rose Tattoo's Angry Anderson". 702 ABC Sydney. Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC). Retrieved 16 March 2012. 
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h Coupe, Stuart; Donnithorne, Jacinta. "Bio: Angry Anderson – "Bound for Glory"". Rose Tattoo Pty Ltd. Retrieved 17 March 2012. 
  6. ^ a b c McFarlane 'Buster Brown' entry at the Wayback Machine (archived June 15, 2004). Archived from the original[dead link] on 3 August 2004. Retrieved 16 March 2012.
  7. ^ a b c d McFarlane 'Rose Tattoo' entry at the Wayback Machine (archived September 1, 2004). Archived from the original[dead link] on 1 September 2004. Retrieved 16 March 2012.
  8. ^ a b c Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992. St Ives, NSW: Australian Chart Book Ltd. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.  NOTE: Used for Australian Singles and Albums charting from 1974 until ARIA created their own charts in mid-1988. In 1992, Kent back calculated chart positions for 1970–1974.
  9. ^ "ARIA Hall of Fame – Rose Tattoo" (Press release). Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA). 12 July 2006. Retrieved 24 May 2010. 
  10. ^ Spencer, Chris; Nowara, Zbig; McHenry, Paul (2002) [1987]. "Incredible Penguins". The Who's Who of Australian Rock. notes by Ed Nimmervoll. Noble Park, Vic: Five Mile Press. ISBN 1-86503-891-1. 
  11. ^ "Angry Anderson". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 16 March 2012. 
  12. ^ Hung, Steffen. "Discography Angry Anderson". Australian Charts Portal (Hung Medien). Retrieved 16 March 2012. 
  13. ^ a b Phelan, Michael (30 September 2011). "When Mr Loaf Meats AFL Anything Could Happen". The Punch. News Limited (News Corporation). Retrieved 17 March 2012. 
  14. ^ "Search Australian Honours – Anderson, Gary (Angry)". It's an Honour. Government of Australia. 26 January 1993. Retrieved 16 March 2012. 
  15. ^ Nimmervoll, Ed. "Rose Tattoo". Howlspace – The Living History of Our Music. White Room Electronic Publishing Pty Ltd (Ed Nimmervoll). Archived from the original on 29 January 2003. Retrieved 22 January 2014. 
  16. ^ Ankeny, Jason. "Rose Tattoo > Biography". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 17 March 2012. 
  17. ^ Australian Associated Press (AAP) (31 March 2006). "Pete Wells remembered as loyal mate". The Sydney Morning Herald (Fairfax Media). Retrieved 21 May 2010. 
  18. ^ Brown, Jen Jewel (25 November 2006). "He Was the Goodtime Bad Boy of Rose Tattoo". The Sydney Morning Herald (Fairfax Media). Retrieved 17 March 2012. 
  19. ^ Baker, Glenn A (24 April 2007). "The Godfather of Australian's Heavy Rock". The Sydney Morning Herald (Fairfax Media). Retrieved 17 March 2012. 
  20. ^ Australian Associated Press (AAP) (23 December 2009). "Rose Tattoo Band Founder Dies". The Daily Telegraph (News Corporation). Retrieved 12 March 2012. 
  21. ^ Fantin, Viv (12 August 2006). "Stars Line Up for ARIA Hall of Fame" (PDF). Australian Recording Industry Association. Retrieved 12 March 2012. [dead link]
  22. ^ "Finding Joy Official Web Site". findingjoy.com. Archived from the original on 14 April 2009. Retrieved 27 May 2009. 
  23. ^ Sharp, Annette; Christie, Joel; Harris, Amy (7 December 2011). "Angry Anderson, Doc Neeson, Mark Gable, Buzz Bidstrup and Phil Emmanuel launch Hard Rock Cafe at Darling Harbour". The Daily Telegraph (News Limited (News Corporation)). Retrieved 16 March 2012. 
  24. ^ a b "How an Angry Young Man Took a Right Turn". The Sydney Morning Herald (Fairfax Media). 15 January 2012. Retrieved 17 March 2012. 
  25. ^ McIlveen, Luke (3 July 2007). "What's Making Anderson Angry?". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 7 July 2007. 
  26. ^ "Beware Barbie Bombers and Jumping-Castle Jihadis". The Sydney Morning Herald (Fairfax Media). 7 July 2007. Retrieved 7 July 2007. 
  27. ^ Kamper, Angela (2 March 2011). "Angry Anderson Blames 'Other Cultures' for Spoiling Aussie Violence". Adelaide Now. Retrieved 16 October 2011. 
  28. ^ Thompson, Jeremy (23 March 2011). "Angry Anderson at Anti-Carbon Tax Rally in Canberra". ABC News. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 16 October 2011. 
  29. ^ Johnston, Matt; Wright, Anne (23 March 2011). "Carbon Tax Protesters Rally in Canberra, Melbourne". Herald Sun (News Corporation). Retrieved 16 October 2011. 
  30. ^ MacKenzie, Bruce; Joyce, Jo (6 October 2011). "Rock Star Ponders Turning Political in Page". ABC News North Coast. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 16 October 2011. 
  31. ^ a b c d e "How an Angry Young Man Took a Right Turn". The Sydney Morning Herald (Fairfax Media). 15 January 2012. Retrieved 17 March 2012. 
  32. ^ Throsby Election Guide from ABC News
  33. ^ "Series 2: Episode 2 | Videos | Go Back to Where You Came From". SBS. 2012-08-15. Retrieved 2013-02-21. 
  34. ^ "Angry : Scarred for Life / Karen Dewey". Trove. National Library of Australia. Retrieved 16 March 2012. 
  35. ^ "How an Angry Young Man Took a Right Turn". The Sydney Morning Herald (Fairfax Media). 15 January 2012. Retrieved 17 March 2012. 
  36. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 23. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 

External links[edit]